What are skin allergies?

There are many kinds of skin irritations, but those triggered by an immune response to an allergen are called allergic skin conditions. Some of the most common include:

Hives (urticaria)

Hives is one of the more common skin allergies, resulting in red, itchy, raised areas of the skin that can range in size and appear anywhere on your body. Medications, foods, bacterial and viral infections, exposure to cold, heat, exercise, stress and sunlight all can trigger hives.

Angioedema involves the swelling of the deeper layers of the skin such as the eyelids, lips, tongue, hands and feet and is often caused by the same triggers as hives.


Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a condition of the skin that is red, itchy and dry and sometimes “weeps” fluid that crusts over when scratched (meaning it could be infected) and appears on the face in infants, at the elbow joint, wrists, and behind the knees and ears in children and young adults. Severe eczema in younger children may be the result of an allergy to milk, eggs, soy, wheat, fish and nuts.

Staph infections, animal dander, dust mites, sweating or contact with irritants like wool or soap can also trigger eczema. Contact Dermatitis is another type of rash with severe itching or sometimes painful symptoms that include a blistered reaction from touching

poison ivy, oak or sumac, nickel, perfumes, dyes, rubber (latex) products and cosmetics, or neomycin, an ingredient found in many over-the- counter antibiotic creams.

Latex allergy

Latex is found in rubber gloves, condoms, balloons, rubber bands, erasers and toys. Symptoms include red, scaly and itchy skin, sneezing, runny nose, coughing or wheezing, itchy throat and watery eyes.

Health care workers, those who have had multiple surgeries and some people who have other types of allergies to fruits and vegetables may have reactions to latex.

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